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Our mission is to empower, educate, and advocate for the residents of the Riverwest neighborhood.

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If you’d like your event on the RNA calendar, please email board@my-rna.org or tech@my-rna.org.

If you wish to express your concerns regarding any of these applications, per the City, you should contact the License Division by email at license@milwaukee.gov or send a letter to the License Division at 200 E. Wells St., Room 105, Milwaukee, WI 53202. The email or letter should include the following: Your name, Your mailing address, The specific reason for your concerns. If the email or letter is received in a timely manner, you will receive notification when the application will be scheduled before the appropriate Common Council committee for review and hearing. You may also wish to call your local Alderperson at (414) 286-2221 to discuss your concerns. If you have any other questions, please call the City Clerk License Division at (414) 286-2238.




2015 RNA Board of Directors:


Sukey Pett


Judie Papadakis

At Large:


Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
6:30pm – 9:00pm

Location: Gordon Park Pavilion – 2828 N. Humboldt Ave.

December Agenda


Future meetings schedule:

January 14th, 2014

Feb 11th, 2015

March 11th, 2015

If you have any questions or would like to be added to the agenda for an upcoming meeting,
Contact: board@my-rna.org

Anyone living in Riverwest is invited and encouraged to attend the monthly General Meetings. There is no cost for membership.

Usually 10-20 people come to each meeting and we talk about all sorts of stuff related to the neighborhood, such as improving safety, protecting the Milwaukee River, local business openings and closures, upcoming events and opportunities, and more.

Any resident is welcome to take part in the discussions or to just sit back and listen. Either way, it’s a good chance to get to know some of the people who are active in our community, to learn more about the local resources available to you as a resident of Riverwest, and to take part in the decisions we make together about our neighborhood.

Unlike other neighborhood associations, RNA requires no dues for membership. Any resident can make announcements, make motions for the group to discuss and/or vote on, propose items for the next meeting, propose changes to the Bylaws, and take part in any votes that come up during a meeting.

Hope to see you there!


Mailing Groups

In order to join our mailing groups (RNA Mail and Riverwest Chatter) please send an email to rnamail+subscribe@googlegroups.com for RNA Mail or riverwest-chatter+subscribe@googlegroups.com for Riverwest Chatter.


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Posted at the request of the 2014 RNA Chairperson:

Greetings, Riverwest:

I am sending this to the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Riverwest Neighborhood Association, but I am also cc’ing Riverwest Chatter, RNA Mail and the RNA Board Facebook page. I also request that the Technical Committee place it on the RNA website. I am doing so in the interest of transparency for the RNA General Membership (GM) and also because it is my understanding that some BOD members have been discussing the issue relentlessly over the last few days on the (unofficial) Facebook RNA Group page.

I feel the neighborhood deserves to hear from the RNA Chairperson on this because so many people have been discussing it from both sides because a) from what I have seen and heard, some very serious misinformation has been put out, and b) the entire story, from the Chair’s view, needs to come out before this issue is discussed at Tuesday’s GM meeting (7;00pm at the Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N. Humboldt Blvd) during my Board Report.

At issue is whether our current Chairperson-Elect (Co-Chair), Sukey Pett, should be replaced by the BOD because she broke her ankle early last month. That is the bare-bones of the issue, but getting to this point involves several sub-issues that must be addressed in order to provide all with the information necessary to understand how this issue came about in the first place.

So please, everyone, bear with me as I lay this out; it will take some time. And please read and comprehend all of it, not just the parts you want to see. (That comment is directed to some people who have contacted me over the last 15 months or so on various RNA issues) I’m doing it here in the hope we won’t have to rehash it all Tuesday evening.

Sukey, as I said, severely broke her ankle in two places on August 9th. So severely it required surgery requiring the placement of a plate and a pin in order to put it back together. It would require 6-8 weeks to heal and more time doing rehabilitation therapy. The day after the incident she sent a letter to the BOD:

From: Sukey Pett
Date: August 10, 2014, 12:26:59 PM CDT
To: RNA Board <board@my-rna.org>, Spike Bandy

Dear All,

I’m writing with deep regret to inform you that I have recuse myself from my Board duties for the rest of the year.

Yesterday, I took a bad fall inside my home and broke my right ankle in two places. I am currently in a moon boot and have a walker. Surgery is imminent and I will need pins and a plate.

My recovery time (after surgery) is estimate to be at least 6-8 weeks. So you will need to appoint a Co-Chair in my absence. I hope I will be able to carry my Chair duties in January, but will keep you informed.


Several things need to be pointed out here:
1) Obviously, the day after her accident she was certainly in extreme pain; anyone who asserts that that will not affect one’s judgement and choice of words has never experienced extreme pain.
2) Sukey used the term, “recuse,” obviously a mistaken choice of words (as I pointed out several times in the BOD meeting this past Tuesday), but some BOD members and Riverwest neighbors, both at the time of Sukey sending the letter and to this day, have taken to believe and advance the idea that it means “to resign.” Because of that stubborn refusal to face reality, I went to four (4) different sources to get the actual definition:


Mirriam-Webster Dictionary

Main Entry: re·cuse
Pronunciation: \ri-ˈkyüz\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): re·cused; re·cus·ing
Etymology: Middle English, to refuse, reject, from Anglo-French recuser, from Latin recusare
Date: 1829
transitive verb
: to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case ; broadly : to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest
— re·cus·al \-ˈkyü-zəl\ noun


| Definition | Thesaurus | TranslationsAlso found in: Legal, Wikipedia

re·cuse (r-kyz)
tr.v. re·cused, re·cus·ing, re·cus·es
To disqualify or seek to disqualify from participation in a decision on grounds such as prejudice or personal involvement.
[Middle English recusen, from Old French recuser, from Latin recsre : re-, re- + causa, cause.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
recuse (rəˈkjuːz; rɪˈkjuːz)
1. (Law) (tr; reflexive) to remove from participation in a court case due to potential prejudice or partiality
[C19: see recusant]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
re•cuse (rɪˈkyuz)

v.t. -cused, -cus•ing.
to reject or challenge (a judge or juror) as disqualified to act, esp. because of interest or bias.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French recuser < Latin recūsāre; see recusant]
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thesaurus Legend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Verb 1. recuse – disqualify oneself (as a judge) in a particular case
law, jurisprudence – the collection of rules imposed by authority; “civilization presupposes respect for the law”; “the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order”
disqualify – declare unfit; “She was disqualified for the Olympics because she was a professional athlete”
2. recuse – challenge or except to a judge as being incompetent or interested, in canon and civil law
law, jurisprudence – the collection of rules imposed by authority; “civilization presupposes respect for the law”; “the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order”


Also found in: Dictionary/thesaurus, Wikipedia 0.01 sec.

Share: Cite / link:
To disqualify or remove oneself as a judge over a particular proceeding because of one’s conflict of interest. Recusal, or the judge’s act of disqualifying himself or herself from presiding over a proceeding, is based on the Maxim that judges are charged with a duty of impartiality in administering justice.

When a judge is assigned to a case, she reviews the general facts of the case and determines whether she has any conflict of interest concerning the case. If a conflict of interest exists, the judge may recuse herself on her own initiative. In addition, any party in a case may make a motion to require the judge to recuse herself from hearing the case. The initial presiding judge usually determines whether or not the apparent conflict requires her recusal, and the judge’s decision is given considerable deference. Some jurisdictions, however, require another judge to decide whether or not the presiding judge should be disqualified. If a judge fails to recuse himself when a direct conflict of interest exists, the judge may later be reprimanded, suspended, or disciplined by the body that oversees Judicial Administration. In addition, in some cases where a judge presides over a matter in which he has a direct conflict of interest, any criminal conviction or civil damage award in the case may be reversed or set aside.

Generally, a judge must recuse himself if he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party to the lawsuit or has personal knowledge of the facts that are disputed in the proceeding. The Code of Judicial Conduct, a judicial ethics code drafted by the American Bar Association in 1972 and adopted by most states and the federal government, outlines situations in which a judge should disqualify himself from presiding over a matter. Canon 3C of the Judicial Code outlines these situations, including the judge’s personal bias or prejudice toward a matter or its participants, personal knowledge of the facts that are disputed in a case, a professional or familial relationship with a party or an attorney, or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter. Most interpretations of the code mandate a judge’s disqualification or recusal if any of these factors are present.

In some cases the parties to a proceeding may waive the judge’s disqualification and allow the judge to preside over the case. The judge’s disqualification is waived when both parties agree to the waiver or when one or more of the parties continues to participate in the proceedings.

The term recusation was at one time considered an exception to jurisdiction, the effect of which was to disqualify the particular judge by reason of the judge’s interest or prejudice in the proceeding.

Further readings
Abramson, Leslie W. 1992. Studies of the Justice System: Judicial Disqualification Under Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. 2d ed. Chicago, Ill.: American Judicature Society.

Comisky, Marvin, and Philip C. Patterson. 1987. The Judiciary—Selection, Compensation, Ethics and Discipline. New York: Quorum Books.

Canons of Judicial Ethics; Judicial Conduct.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
recuse v. to refuse to be a judge (or for a judge to be requested by one of the parties to step aside) in a lawsuit or appeal because of a conflict of interest or other good reason (acquaintanceship with one of the parties, for example). It also applies to a judge or prosecutor being removed or voluntarily removing himself/herself from a criminal case in which he/she has a conflict of interest, such as friendship or known enmity to the defendant. (See: recusal)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


recuse Translate Button
verb (used with object), recused, recusing.
to reject or challenge (a judge or juror) as disqualified to act, especially because of interest or bias.

Examples for recuse Expand
If the reviewer has a conflict, they should recuse themselves.
Twelve years later, such a case came up, but he forgot to recuse himself.
He also said he will consider any requests from lawyers in the obscenity case asking him to recuse himself.

Origin Expand
1350-1400; Middle English recusen < Middle French recuser < Latin recūsāre; see recusant

3) Although Sukey stated that the BOD would have to appoint a Co-Chair in her absence, she subsequently remained in touch via email, and even responded in my stead to a letter sent to the BOD. Does that sound like she was unable to carry out her duties? By the way, the main purpose of the position of Co-Chair is to provide that person a learning period, so that the person does not step into being Chairperson blindly, with no experience or knowledge of how to carry out the responsibilities of that position. Sukey has subsequently explained that she misread the RNA By-laws, but those calling for her ouster have refused to even consider that point.
3) Some have maintained that Sukey being in recovery precludes her from attending meetings. As I pointed out at the BOD meeting, she can certainly SKYPE and “attend” BOD and GM meetings, and as others have pointed out, there is absolutely nothing preventing the BOD meetings from being held at her home.

I won’t bother with what the By-laws say about replacing someone on the BOD, because the above points make those provisions moot.

I will, however, provide some background to this whole fiasco.

1) Earlier this year a now-former BOD member, Edy Zutz, endured foot surgery and, during her recovery, did not attend any meetings and had absolutely no contact with the BOD (An excused absence, by the way). No one even brought up replacing her, let alone actively trying to do so. Why now are they seeking to replace Sukey?
2) Following the May 13th meeting there was a difference of opinion regarding the interpretation of an issue that escalated into an angry war of words in emails between board members, a “war” that I thought could only be resolved by everyone sitting down together for a couple of hours and everyone having the opportunity to state their feelings and get feedback from the group; resulting, I hoped, in clearing the air and the BOD becoming united and focused on the task at hand: working for the betterment of Riverwest. So I, as Chair, called for an Emergency Meeting to do just that. To my amazement, several board members flatly stated that they did not have time to do such a thing and refused to find a way to make time. Another said they saw no need for such a meeting because everything was ‘hunkey-dory’ (my phrase; just trying to make a point). So, no Emergency Meeting, and bad feelings and distrust evidently still simmered between some BOD members.
3) On June 10th, the day Edy returned to “duty” as a member of the BOD and the day of a BOD meeting, an incident occurred that I understand has been referenced in the public discussion of Sukey’s situation. So in the interest of full disclosure, here is the Chairperon’s account of what happened: During the meeting, held outdoors at Colectivo, seven BOD members were in attendance: Sukey, Jenny Olson, Akai Coit, Judie Papadakis, Andy Tillman, Julie Ferris and myself; Edy arrived later, after the dust-up. During the meeting, Akai was speaking, trying to make a point regarding the Technical Committee, which he chairs. Judie and Jenny interrupted him. Those who know Akai understand that when he is interrupted, he will begin anew, in order to make certain his entire point is delivered in the whole. So he began again, only to be interrupted by Jenny and Judie again. When it happened a third time I, as Chairperson, asked Judie and Jenny to allow Akai to make his statement. They chose to ignore me and continued to interrupt Akai again and again. And again. And again. Needless to say, Akai, normally one of the calmest persons I have ever known, eventually became frustrated, stood up and, refusing to stand for being rudely, constantly and unapologetically interrupted, announced his resignation from the BOD. Before I could ask him to reconsider that decision, Judie and Jenny again jumped in and began badgering him again. In responding to them, Akai began raising his voice and, as he always does when standing, also “talked” with his hands. As this unfolded, Jenny and Judie began asserting that Akai was “threatening” them. That never occurred; as Sukey later confirmed, Akai was agitated (who would not be, given the circumstances?) but at no time threatened anyone seated at the table. However, asserting that they would not be threatened, Judie and Jenny walked out of the meeting. After they left, Akai calmed down, sat back down, had a calm and collected conversation with Julie, and they came to agreement on several points regarding the Tech Committee. He later rescinded his resignation to me, and I explained to him that as Chair I had never accepted it.
4) Following that train wreck of a BOD meeting, Jenny tendered her resignation from the BOD and, interestingly, I was blamed for it by several Riverwest neighbors, none of whom knew firsthand what had happened in the previous months, and none of whom would listen when I tried to tell them that there was more than one side to the stories they had heard. I was accused by them of not leading the BOD, as the Chair is supposed to do. But I ask now the same question I asked then: How does one lead people who refuse to follow?

At any rate, now the BOD has decided to remove Sukey (as Chair I did not have a vote, just the opportunity to give my opinion) and called their own Emergency Meeting this afternoon in order to replace her in what would have been a secret meeting if I had not started asking long-time RNA members about the correct interpretation of the By-laws. (Wait, they did not feel an Emergency Meeting was necessary in order to unite the BOD, but now one is necessary to rush through the dumping of Sukey, despite the common sense input from not just me, but also from some members of our community? What is wrong with this picture?) After the BOD’s decisions and actions I have decided not to be a part of their scheme and will not attend their meeting today. I will bring the matter up during my BOD Report at Tuesday’s meeting, and let the GM decide the issue.

Oh, and I will say here and now that I will not respond to any comments or questions directed at me personally or in any of our social media regarding this issue. I have had my say on the matter, for now, and will not comment on any of the above until my BOD report. I hope to see a lot of neighbors at the meeting, as there is not only this issue to resolve, but some other items to be voted on.

Love to all,

Spike Bandy
2014 RNA Chairperson


Neighbors are strongly encouraged to come to all the various interest group meetings to inquire, offer ideas, help and volunteer for projects planned by any and all interest groups within RNA!
2011 RNA Member Survey Results
Here are the results of the survey. Please look them over and consider how the RNA can best use this information to help prioritize our goals for the next year.

General Riverwest boundaries:
Capitol Drive to the North
Milwaukee River to the East & South
Richards Street to the West

Upcoming Events

  1. RNA Safety Meeting

    December 1 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  2. RNA General Meeting

    December 9 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Current News & Happenings

November 25
Cody Steinmann Open Jam/ Sketch Group
7-9 pm
Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts
926 E. Center St.

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This definitely looks like a good time! ...

A Community Holiday Supershow

December 20, 2014, 2:00pm - December 20, 2014, 5:00pm

Riverwest Artists Association

Light up Riverwest! A Community Holiday Supershow at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts-----------Saturday December 20th------------2:00 – 5:00 PM Featuring Jazz singer Donna Woodall with the Jeno Somlai quartet with many special guests, from solo musicians to area church choirs, each bringing their own diverse musical talents and styles. A wonderful community holiday festival of music with food and refreshments provided. A $5.00 donation is requested.

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Congratulations to the 2015 RNA Board! Judie Papadakis, Co-Chair
At Large Members:Akai Coit, Ingrid Eubanks,Vinnie Holly,Michelle Kelly and Jacob Liptack.Thanks to all those who threw their hats in the ring. Here's to an exciting and productive 2015

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Full agenda for 11/11 General Meeting ...

Agenda for Nov. 11 2014 General Meeting. — at Gordon Park.

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Agenda for Nov. 11th General Meeting ...

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